Shutting down during the shutdown (and a few other thoughts)

Good morning, Thursday. I do believe this government shutdown has me shut down. I'm having a hard time finding inspiration right now and hoping putting it down for all of you to see will spark something within.

It's true that I've been WFH quite a bit lately, leading to a self imposed hibernation as winter takes hold. I've literally been waking up, working out, and then coming back home to work all day, not leaving the house unless I need to walk the dog. And inevitably, I have CNN blasting all day long while I do this. A very bad idea. For obvious reasons. Depressing.

Like so many, I re-found my voice when social media was born. I was a lifelong writer, then stopped for many years to pursue other things, then found my way back to writing leading to this blog and gratefully, professional writing assignments. We know that the playing field has been crowded for a minute in terms of bloggers/vloggers/tweeters. But I think we've reached absolute fever pitch and it's causing me to want to just be quiet. And I wish more people would be to. As in, please shut up.

I'm tired of brands taking a stand. Truly. I'm tired of tweets and retweets and hashtags. I'm tired of joining the conversation. I'm tired of being told what to buy, what to wear, and how to wear it. Look- I'm guilty of doing all of these things, and I love sharing my ideas and inspirations and thoughts with all of you. But I feel like this sea of dissent is starting to reach tsunami status. And it's taking me down. Or trying to anyway.

The Gillette commercial is a perfect example. People hate it. People love it. But why on Earth do we care about it? We're in pretty bad shape if we are looking for brands like Gillette to change the way men behave. I'm so so tired of this trend. Of brands trying to connect with new audiences by taking a stand. I like brands that take a stand, mind you. But I have always felt they should do so only when it makes sense for them to do so. Like Nike. Like Patagonia. And I loved what Dove did. But this? Meh. If they had real men talking honestly about men that would have been better. Or put your money where your (supposed) heart is and host discussions about how to create change in the world. Or better yet, just sell razors. And worry more that men are not shaving as much as they used to. Because that should be your cause. These truly are desperate times- I get it.  But do they call for desperate measures? It sure seems like it. What is a brand's true intention when doing something like this? 

I think my Gen X cynicism is really coming through lately. We hated brands that were so obviously trying to market to us. We didn't care if they took a stand. And as millennials become full fledged adults, maybe they'll become cynics too. I can only hope the generation behind them is as cynical as everyone says they are. Because maybe all of this grand "standing" will stop. And I've worked in advertising my whole life so I'm aware these are dicey waters. Advertising at its best is of course a reflection of the times, but these times are completely unprecedented and not sure words should speak louder than action. It's action time. That's my thought. Don't wait for a brand to tell you how to act. Be the change. Enough said.  And before you jump down my throat- I support positive change in the world. From the way men behave to the way women behave to the way people behave. I'm just not a big fan of how it's playing on prime time. Thing is, we've been told our voices need to be heard. But now it's all just screaming. Nonstop screaming.

The collective anger is palpable and as an empathic kind of person, I'm feeling depleted. Because sometimes you just want to buy a razor without a big old message. And you expect your government to make you feel safe and protected and not shut down for weeks on end. Today I'm having lunch with a friend and hopefully having a laugh or two. I really need to step away from my apartment and my television. Hopefully I'll get some much needed respite from all the doom and gloom and gather some inspiration to help bring back Maven's regularly scheduled programming. Also when did it become super ok to be a sheep? To be told what to eat, what to wear, who to be? Rinse. Repeat. Enough.

They say silence is deadly. But a little quiet wouldn't hurt would it?  Maybe all this noise is deadlier than silence. It's all just a bit too much.

Cause that's what's up this what's going on kind of Thursday in the 718. Yours, in shut downs, break downs, and meltdowns.  XO

It's Friday, I'm in Love: My top five picks this week

Good morning and happy happy Friday to all. I've got my hands in many pots this week but enjoying the journey of getting back to it. I admit it's not easy but I woke up this morning feeling energized after my workout and looking forward to some fun new projects. And with the weekend on the horizon, I'm psyched to catch up on some must see movies (The Favourite, Vice, etc.) and hang.

Anyhoo, here's five things I'm super digging on this week. Have a look and happy weekend:

Gucci Westman foundation stick.  Loving this stick from famous makeup artist Gucci Westman. I was a stick skeptic until I tried this one, and though she makes a very expensive foundation brush, you really can apply directly onto skin and blend with your fingers- I found that application better than my Sephora foundation brush. Love how natural this formula is- not a ton of coverage but a beautiful and sheer finish for those who love that no makeup/makeup vibe. Have I told you about this one before ps? I can't recall. Well it's that good so worth shouting out again if so. Buildable coverage and no yucky ingredients. All good.

Paraboots. OMG. A very chic French woman I follow had a pair of these on in a recent Instagram post and I fell back in love with these. I had a pair in high school if you can believe that- so ahead of my time. Ha. Loving these practical shoes that have been around for over 100 years- very chic with cropped trousers or with a skirt or dress. So chic.

The Real Real. Oy vey. The Real Real. Where have I been when it comes to this amazing site full of gently used luxury goods? Amazing deals on all your favorite designers. So good. Currently eyeing up a Proenza Schouler bag. Back in love with that brand big time. Need to visit their brick and mortar in Soho. Or do I?

Christophe Robin moisturizing hair creme. I love CR products so much. They are excellent all around but currently loving this sandalwood infused hair creme that's a leave on conditioner. Makes your hair super soft and manageable- bonus points if you use after the lemon mask to get rid of any product build up and leaves you hair super clean and healthy but not too fluffy.

Meg trousers. I'm a dress girl. We know this. Lately I'm loving pants too. And these pleathery pants are all that. And they're on sale. They're part jogger/part trouser/all amazingly chic and comfortable. Love them. Wear with everything you own. Lovely lines and super easy peasy. They're out of stock online but available in store. Ooh and they're warm too.

Hoping you have a wonderful weekend. Cause that's what's up this five alive kind of Friday in the 718. Yours, in favorite things. XO

Can't commit to your resolutions? Give 'em a little lip service (courtesy of Glossier)

Good morning, Tuesday. Is anyone else having a tough time getting back to real life after the break if you had one? I know i am. Big time. And everyone's endless resolutions on social media are making me feel ill. So in that spirit, let's talk about lipstick. Because certainly you can commit to spending under 20 bucks for something new that doesn't feel as daunting as say- getting control of your carbs, becoming a lady boss, or Kond'oing your closet (just looking at her stresses me out). 

I bring you the humble new formulation of Glossier's Generation G lipstick. I don't know about you, but I'm not a fan of a freshly applied lip. I like to blot it about ten times onto any paper I have available in my purse so it looks more settled and stained than heavy. I think I've told you before I have  a real love/hate thing with lipstick- sometimes I feel like a clown mouth when I wear it. But this lipstick is perfect for the lipstick averse, and you don't even need to lose a single pound or declutter to enjoy it. Word of warning: I'm not in love with the texture as it feels a bit drying even though they reformulated, though I think a sheer, matte lip is a brilliant idea. To solve that I can't recommend Laneige's lip sleeping mask at night time enough- I've written about it before and it's a wintertime savior. No chapped lips here. 

Anyhoo, I'm loving the Cake color from Glossier. That's the one I ordered because I love a barely there lip. It's the perfect just bitten, peachy hue and goes with almost anything else you put on your face. I also have Jam which is a deep berry (also nice) and am currently coveting Zip, a red hue and Like, a pinkish rose (my go to).  So pretty and barely there. I say make a resolution to get some damn lipstick and forget everything else. The rest will happen. But good lipstick shouldn't wait.

Cause that's what's up this beauty resolution of a Tuesday in the 718. Yours, in a little lip service. XO

Learning, haggling, and very little chewing: my thoughts on ten days in Israel

Good morning, Monday. Back at it back at it back at it.

So let's get to it. I know you all are dying to hear about my trip to Israel so without delay, here's my take.

Israel is not a country of pleasantries. 

It is a homeland. A battleground. A sacred space. But it's rough, and for those more superficially inclined, a bit unpleasant.

I want to tell you that somehow my Judaism came running back to me with fervor and gusto and passion. I want to tell you that Israel feels like home because I'm a Jew. I want to tell you I listened in rapt attention to every last detail about the motherland and why it matters so much. But I can't. Because for all intents and purposes, that was not exactly my experience. My Jewish self loathing would not exactly allow for such epiphanies. Because I was too busy being hit across the bridge of my nose by an Orthodox man's hat just after takeoff from New York, a perfect metaphor fo the trip really, but more on the meaning of said hat thing later.

So back to the basics- we departed for Israel on Christmas Day and met my husband's father and his wife in Newark, along with the rest of our tour group. Yes, tour group. I said tour group. We greeted our group with bagels from New York City, in a bid to win over a bunch of Jews who wanted to get really, really Jewish. Think olive branch, but the Brooklyn version. It worked. 

After we boarded the plane, things got biblical.

Take the two Orthodox ladies, in full babushka'd regalia, running back and forth down the plane aisles because one of them lost their passport. Which, ps, you needed to board the plane so...really? This went on for what seemed like forever until they found them and collapsed into their seats. But then it turns out the Orthodox man in front of David could not sit next to a woman during the flight, so a game of Jewish musical chairs ensued, in which my father-in-law's wife had to give up her aisle seat in favor of a middle seat, just to take one for the team. Good on her. Noble.

And then our plane got evacuated. Because of a belligerent kid who didn't want to check his skateboard. I can't make this up. Oh and next to me was the Israeli Fran Lebowitz. Quipping and cracking with what appeared to be a much younger boyfriend, who seemed apt to laugh at every one of her snarkisms.  But I digress.

Because after the Israeli Tony Hawk got 86'd from the plane, we re-boarded and took off. And that's when the fun really started.

Over 10 hours of people pacing, shining big lights on prayer books and frantically discussing when to pray considering the 7 hour time difference, and an incident where yours truly got hit across the bridge of my nose by the hard edges of that aforementioned hat.  Crazy. And very much like Israel itself.

Israel is a place where your values are confronted with some very hard facts. Where everything is in your face, yet often difficult to see until you really see it. It's a place where you get bumped into  relentlessly, and your hummus is almost always slammed on the table instead of placed delicately in front of you. There is nothing delicate about Israel. Because there is no time for that. When you are surrounded by hostile borders and enemies, it seems irrelevant to say excuse me all the time, or worry that your table manners or waiter service are less than erudite.

 I couldn't help but wonder what all the Japanese tourists I saw were thinking- having been to Japan I'd say Israel is almost the opposite. Japan is quiet, considerate, delicate to a fault. Israel? Israel is loud, bustling, aggressive. Funny as a New Yorker I find any of that jarring, but I do. New York is not as abrasive or abrupt as people think. Israel on the other hand? Don't ever expect an excuse me. It ain't happening.

But it is also extraordinary in its richness of culture, character, and strength. Does it have the cleanest public bathrooms? No. It does not. But what it lacks in finesse it more than makes up for in importance. It's important to know that Israel, though a young country, has been through it time and time again. That its fighters on Masada thousands of years ago would rather commit mass suicide than be enslaved by the Romans. That three world religions- Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all have bled for Israel and will most likely do so again. Israelis are rough, tough, and completely wonderful. You just have to accept that they are not going to be polite or anything less than 100% real. 

Here's a few other thoughts I had while there:

If you are toothless, you will eat like a boss.  The food, though delicious, is often quite mushy. Think hummus, yogurt, and many other soft foods that require little more than a set of gums. I will admit this wore on me after a while. Plus it's hard to get past the presentation. As a visually motivated person, more often than not, the food in Israel looks largely regurgitated (David and I took to calling it much much (get that chhh sound at the end(. But like most things in Israel, get past the way things look and dig in. Because if you can ignore the visuals, you will enjoy some of the most magical food of your life. A favorite? The hummus at Abu Hassan, a joint in the truest of senses. If you don't know what you want, don't worry. There is no menu but the Arabic owned business will take care of you, as long as you don't mind your amazing bowl of chickpea'd goodness being slammed down on the table. Hard. Absolutely amazing food, and experience- full of local lunch time people and some in the know tourists. Good eating. Oh and- should you feel tired of all the dippy things, go for pizza in Israel. It's kind of great everywhere should you tire of the relentless mush. And coming from New York, you know I know my stuff.  Also so much garlic. Not great for romance.

Be prepared to go back to school. Listen I'm the last gal who ever thought I would be on a tour group, yet there I was, on a bus every day and I'm eternally grateful to my father-in-law for taking us on this incredible adventure. Again- I'm not much of a tour type. I'm rebellious and independent and require a great deal of personal space and free time when exploring a new place. But because Israel's history is fascinating, dense, and rich, it is nice to have someone tell you why, when, and what when it come to major historical importance. I admit my attention span ain't great, but I learned a ton. And there's a good chance I would never, ever go to an underground bullet factory or former refugee camp. Looking back, I'm happy we saw as much as we did. You truly can't avoid the touristy stuff in Israel, it's a big part of the experience. But be sure to build in some time to soak in the place. We bailed on the tour one day in Tel Aviv and found ourselves loving our walk through the Florentin neighborhood (Israel's answer to Bushwick) as well as a long jaunt through old Jaffa, my favorite place of the whole trip. Amazing old market and fabulous new designer boutiques. So so good.

Let push come to shove. This one's a doozy for Americans and most cultures. Israel is a place where you will most likely be bumped into repeatedly while perusing the halvah at the souk. It's going to happen. And you can't be mad at it. It's just part of the culture. Plus Israelis and Arabic people almost always sound like they're yelling, even when they're not. Takes some getting used to but then becomes a relief to not have to apologize all the time. And your elbows will come in incredibly handy when trying to navigate all the meshugas.

Haggle. A lot. One of my favorite things about Israel from the both times I've been there have been the amazing stalls in the markets of the Old City in Jerusalem as well as in Old Jaffa in Tel Aviv. Never, ever pay the price they quote you for that necklace, scarf, or trinket. They expect and want you to haggle with you. And don't be surprised if you get that leather satchel purse down to a quarter of the price you were originally quoted. I know. Because it happened to me. Also I found myself loving the game- the hustle is ancient and amazing in this part of the world and it's a lot fo fun to watch and participate in. You will more often than not end up in the back of a stall where something "special" awaits. The challenge is to get out of the stall with some shekels in your pocket. Good luck with that.

Enjoy the old, but embrace the new. Sure the old city in Jerusalem is magical, but don't forget about the amazing newness that Israel can offer. Two places that stood out for me were the amazing OCD in Tel Aviv, a tasting menu restaurant with two nightly seatings featuring the most amazing kitchen theater and food ( think eggplant ice cream and sublime fish). Then, I fell hard for Anny Jacobsen, a local designer whose store had me wanting absolutely everything in it.  And the amazing Neve Tzedek neighborhood is the oldest in Tel Aviv but home to shopping that can rival any fashion capital's, amidst old edifices and thousands of street cats.  I'm an old soul as you know so adore the mingling of old and new just about everywhere. Divide that by the mix of cultures and you've got the most special sauce around.

Oh and a quick style note- saw an excellent exhibit on Israeli style at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem and it was great. In terms of style is it apparent in this land at all? Not exactly. It's not a place for flashy labels or fashion bloggers, a huge relief. It's truly the most casual country ever. One trend I noted was that everyone  (and I do mean everyone) was rocking Blundstones, the Tasmanian born shoe that's a cross between a Chelsea and a hiking boot.  I like 'em.

Don't expect a miracle. In terms of my Judaism, did I feel any more connected to it than I did before? Not necessarily. I'm not a religious person, but I know who I am and I am proud to be Jewish, but did not necessarily feel a pull towards being more observant. One highlight on the religious front happened in Jerusalem where David and I received an Aliyah (blessing) from the rabbi who bar mitzvah'd him. Incredible. It is hard to ignore the spiritual aspect and expectation of such a trip, but I'm not sure it made me want to be more observant. Though it did make me want to visit this magical land again and again. This time, heading south to Eilat and soaking in some sunshine. And I think that all of us on that tour bus, from all different mindsets, disciplines, and walks of life felt the same. And that's saying a lot. I did see a ton of kids doing birthright and to be honest, they could not have been more annoying (or more full of hickies). Bizarre.

Also funny- Israelis like to present things in questions. As in: "What would you do?", said with a shrug of the shoulders. I suppose this is because living in Israel is all about having to make very fast decisions, amidst a constant threat of attack or who knows what. I will say there was not a single second where I felt scared. Even when literally staring at some hostile borders or driving through some less than friendly places. And considering the actual national emergency of gun violence we have in this country, Israel felt safe. Very safe. Until it's not. And as many Israelis will tell you, it's not an if. It's a when.

And back to the Orthodox man and his weapon of choice (his hat), it's true the blow to my nose was not welcomed. But sometimes a blow to your comfort and quiet is a good thing, and truly, Israel will take you there. You will watch countless cheesy videos at tourist sites and wonder why someone like Spielberg can't do this country a solid when it comes to tourist films, but you will understand more about the complicated nature of this country, even when it feels blunt and painful and somewhat shocking. 

I suppose that's it for now. I've got to get my head in the game but part of me is still strolling around Jaffa in the sunshine, enjoying my daily bread amidst the most beautiful patina I've ever seen. If you like your patina with a side of hummus and a double dose of reality, go to Israel. It's quite an experience, religious or otherwise. I adored it and found it intriguing, frustrating, and absolutely delicious. And like many things worth unpacking, it's complicated. Cause that's what's up this first day back kind of Monday in the 718. Yours, in excellent adventures. XO

What "Laverne and Shirley" taught me about female friendship

Good morning, Wednesday. It's bright and sunny in the city and I'm looking forward to wrapping up this week and hitting up the holy land. Going to be amazing.

In other news, I was so sad to hear about Penny Marshall's death yesterday. I thought she was absolutely hilarious and her role as Laverne left a pivotal impression on me as a girl. "Laverne and Shirley" was probably my favorite show on television as a kid, and now that I'm older its value as a true testament to female friendship is not lost on me.

For those who don't know, the show was about two women living in Milwaukee and working at a brewery. They lived in a basement apartment and had many hilarious adventures. Laverne was the loud, somewhat promiscuous sass pot while Shirley (or Shirl) was more of a nervous nelly type who was a bit of a prude but hilariously neurotic and feisty. Unlikely friends? Perhaps. But that's what I loved so much- they were totally different characters but adored each other. And them making their way in the world as middle class, independent women felt real.  The show takes place in the 50s (but shot in the 70s and early 80s), and at that time, I'm not sure what the notion of "working women" meant but unmarried women living on their own was probably unheard of. When you fast forward to other shows of our lifetime about female friendship- "Sex and the City" and "Girls", there's some lovely moments but there's plenty of eye rollers where you are pretty certain that nobody who writes for a newspaper can afford that many pairs of Manolos, or that nobody could be more loathsome than any of the characters in "Girls". 

Laverne and Shirley were lovable, goofy types with lovable, goofy friends. I'll never forget what they showed me about having each other's backs, accepting each other for who we are and who we are not, and supporting each other as we navigate this thing called life. I even like what many called the jump the shark moment of the show, when the girls moved out to sunny California.  Them encountering their first earthquake is one of the funniest episodes of the entire show. Watch it here it still makes me laugh to this day.  I love how perfectly these ladies show the wacky hilarity of female friendship.  That it's ok to be vulnerable, silly, and most of all, hilarious. That "L" of Laverne's stands not only for her name, but also for love. And I loved every minute of that fantastic era. Their famous theme song noted that they were going to do it their way, and they sure did. And they were absolute comedic geniuses.

Thanks for the memories, Penny Marshall. "Laverne and Shirley" taught me a great deal about the kind of friend I wanted to be.

Cause that's what's up this schlemiel, schlamazel of a Wednesday in the 718. Yours, in best friends and boo boo kitties. XO

A few of my least favorite things

Good morning, Tuesday. I'm still in a relatively snarky mood so I'll just keep on going. 

As you know, I'm not much of a joiner. Yea, I get swept up in the latest and greatest things all the damn time. But mostly, I don't tend to like what the masses like, unless of course, I can put my own spin on it. But lately, popular sentiment for certain things has me questioning my own humanity. What's wrong with me that I don't like the following things?

Jason Momoa. I know, right? WTF is wrong with me that I don't like this big brawny charming human? I admit I was seduced by him when he was on GOTS, but now he's just a big doofus in my mind. And I don't like all that hair. And I don't like the way he dresses. Nor do he find him remotely humorous, even when he tries to be. Plus he's mad cheesy. But everyone loves him so clearly I'm the loathsome one. And that whole moms going to see Aquaman because omghe'shot meme is so annoying.

Everlane. Fucking Everlane. Lines around the block to shop for possibly the most boring, ill fitting clothes I've ever seen. I'm not mad at that round toed pump of theirs, but everything else can just f off to mediocrity. Why are we celebrating mediocrity, even when I do like their responsible sustainability? I just don't like their clothes.  They're like the vanilla ice cream of style or fashion for lazy people. Blech. Also some girl with vocal fry at the store was like "can you please tie up your umbrella before putting it in the bin. TH-ANKS". Ugh.  Oh and ps- I know I always talk about my love for the Gap back in the day- it's because there was always a coolness there. To me, Everlane is the opposite of cool, capiche? 

Poke. I liked poke for a second. When I worked in midtown. And then I went back to being kind of grossed out by it. Because truly, it's pretty gross. I think it's the fish chunk thing. I dunno. Next. Not sure what midtown has to do with fish chunks but here we are. 

Peganism. Go Paleo. Go vegan. But making a diet an acronym is so super annoying I want to go all Cavewoman on someone. 

Dad sneakers. Please dear Lord stop this trend. I can't anymore. Because truly I'm starting to like them even though I HATE them. I guess that may be the point but enough. Unless you're a cool Japanese girl. Then continue. 

BONUS: Radiohead. I KNOW. I'm sorry not sorry. They drive me completely insane. Thom Yorke's endless whining is like hell for me. Except for two songs really. "Everything in its Right Place" and maybe "Karma Police". But more than ten minutes of Radiohead makes me  think bad thoughts. Mostly about myself but still. This one stings a few of you out there I know. But I can't help it. They don't do it for me. At all.

Hmm I'm sure there's many more but those are just a few of my least favorite things. Clearly Trump and his bullshit would make the list but everybody hates him now so...cause that's what's up this flying solo kind of Tuesday in NJ. Yours, in false prophets. Come at me, bro.  XO

On becoming obscure (yet getting more clear)

Good morning, Monday.  You're here. I'm here. We're alive. Mazel.

So while commuting and listening to my Discover Weekly this am (Spotify's custom playlist based on your vibes in case you don't know), "Take the Skinheads Bowling" by Camper Van Beethoven came on. While I was on a shuttle bus. Going through the Lincoln. Headed to New Jersey. Surrounded by young kids at the dawn of their career, while mine resembles something more like the twilight state you have when you're getting surgery, except with less Versed. But I digress.

Because it occurred to me, as it often does at this point in the game, how a song like "Take the Skinheads Bowling" would only be recognizable to a certain demographic, namely my generation, X. How a song like that provides a happy recall of oversized sweatshirts and asymmetrical bobs and good old angst ridden, teenaged revelry. A song like that instantly makes you remember who you are, and who you were. I'm not sure it tells you where you're headed,  but no matter. You get it. Or you don't. If you're one of the kids on my shuttle bus, chances are you don't unless you're a requisite music nerd. 

It's interesting to me how different age groups have such identifiable markings. Like a leopard's spots. It's humbling in one way and scary in another. Humbling because there's a good amount of gravitas in knowing that a certain random song from a certain college brand from the 80s will resonate with those who heard it when it first released and appreciated it for its rather ludicrous refrain:

"Take the skinheads bowling

Take them bowling
Take the skinheads bowling
Take them bowling
Take the skinheads bowling
Take them bowling
Take the skinheads bowling

Take them bowling"

On the other hand, it's scary that so many other people in your everyday life have no frame of reference for this song. It doesn't mean you shouldn't hang with them of course, but the older we get, the more our references fall on deaf ears. Maybe I just need to hang out with music nerds exclusively so as to negate this sticky wick. I don't know. It's just a thought i had amidst the millions of existential crisis ponders I had on the road this morning.

Because 'm starting to itch in places I've never itched before. Not literally, mind you. But figuratively. I feel like I want to make big, sweeping changes but the lingo and energy it takes to get there is not really cutting it for me. In fact, nothing's really cutting it for me. Is it depression? Doesn't feel that way. Maybe it's a bit of that angst I spoke of. And maybe songs about skinheads participating in great American past times is bringing out the rebellious teen in me. The one who never thought she'd be sitting in an office park debating the relevance of acronyms (this already happened ps- and it's not even 11 am).  Point is- I'm assessing big moves for January and beyond. I can no longer continue to feel out of context.  Not because millennials have shit taste in music. Just because I need to up my game for where I am in my very own life.  Funny how the more we let go of our youth, the more we somehow become more clear about who we are. Or at the very least, it's as ridiculous and weird as a somewhat obscure hit from the 80s. Link to video here. Classic.

Just wanted to share that this am as I'm feeling like I need to make some new references to sync up with where I am right here and now.  I'm not sure any of this makes sense. I guess I just really wanted to see who amongst my friend group knew this song. Cause that's what's up this musical Monday in dirty Jerz. Yours, in shuttle busses and deep thoughts.  What will you discover this week? XO

A little inspo for your get up and go: Make like an icon and travel in style

Good afternoon, all. Well travel is upon us with the holidays and such and I for one could use a little airport inspiration. And though I am dying to wear my new Alo leggings inflight, I'm going to resist the urge and try hard to wear something somewhat chic (no guarantees, try being the operative word). With that in mine, here are some all star looks that give new/old meaning to the word "jetset". How insanely great do all of them look? I want to revive stylish travel, truly. Here's how to look like your favorite star of yesteryear.

Brigitte Bardot- I mean- ridiculously chic. What do you need to make like Bardot and go? I'd suggest an animal print coat, large scarf (the French and their scarves you know) and a beret if you can pull it off and not look crazy. 

I love this spotted faux fur trench from House of Fluff. But all price points and styles available. Also bonus points for buying vintage. But this coat is magical. And animal free.

Twiggy- Don't you just love her brand of Anglo fab? To get the look today try a flared,cropped trouser, some loafers, and a cute jacket. Presto. Instant Twigs. Safe travels.

For a splurge, get these Gucci Vegas loafers for that cool block heel like Twiggy's sporting above.

And probably the one I could best emulate on the list- Shirley Maclaine. Lord bless wacky sunglasses and a short haircut and all black. Yes, I think I can. Here's a link to a fun pair that won't break ze bank.

Marilyn in fur. You go and get faux fur and a pair of heels and fly yourself to the moon. This one's a great fake, the only way.  Genius. Sexy. Gorgeous.

Oh, Cher. If only we could turn back time. A big part of me wants to see her Broadway show ps. I can't help myself. Love this hippie 70s ethnic vibe to fly to Peru or Tulum or somewhere fabulous. Your version can be an Isabel coat, folksy bag, snug sweater and belled jeans. And a cowboy hat. Duh. PS the woman behind her is serving major travel realness too. The head scarf is a great look, no? 

Found the above fab Zara number on Poshmark. So good.

Dear sweet Audrey. For those of you lad-ehs out there- this is your look. Go mod and short and you can't go wrong- and add a designer bag to boot. I personally could not fly with bare legs but you do you. Oh and you can't go wrong with a good Speedy bag from LV. Timeless.

Michael Caine, Ringo, and wives in tow going to Liz Taylor's 40th. Um yea. Love. Chic outerwear, rock star hair, languid gazes. Yes and yes. This coat is cool.  And so is this one. And I know I'm doing a lot of faux fur and trenches but there's a reason. See below.

So what have we learned hmm hmm? We've learned that the chicest women from the 60s and 70s have some things in common when it comes to traveling in style. Trenches, animal prints, fur (now faux because of course faux). A great boot or block heeled loafer, and a relaxed silhouette when it comes to your bottom half. And of course, a good handbag. Of the iconic designer varietal if available to you.

Just wanted to give you some get up and go inspo as we all prepare to fly the friendly skies. Yours, in taking back travel, one great look at a time. XO

On Jews and Christmas

Good morning and TGIF. It's been a long week but looking forward to some major league friend time this weekend. 'Tis the season.

I was thinking about how much I love Christmas and have written here about my Christmas envy, considering I'm Jewish. My sister and I have always joked about it- she is partial to a more Irish Catholic kind of Christmas (think Kennedys) and I've always been partial to a more over the top Italian/Dyker Heights/Feast of the Fishes mystique. But I digress. Because Jews can't do Christmas. Even if we try.

Case in point. This year i bought a fairly legit Christmas tree. Not huge, but not tabletop either. David and I put some music on and dressed the tree with some ornaments purchased locally- pretty gold star things and some small gold balls, and of course lights. I was going for more tasteful and restrained than my Italian Christmas obsession, but alas- the tree is cute, but doesn't quite cut it when it comes to Christmas miracles. Here's a picture of it. I just don't know how to make it great. I have no real frame of reference. I didn't grow up with Christmas and I'm a little long in the tooth now to learn.

My sister sent me this picture the other night. That's me. And my very 70s coiffed dad. And yes, that's some Christmas decor in the background. Apparently there were stockings. Since I was too young to remember this now, I rely on my sister's recall to regale me with tales of Christmas's (how do you pluralize this?I can't even do that) past. 

According to her, this was the first and only time we did Christmas at my house. My dad put up some festive wrapping paper on the wall in our den, think wallpaper vibes. Fairly clever if you ask me, although obviously not tasteful. My sister told me my dad STAPLED our gifts to the wall. Stapled? Who does that? My dad. That's who. He also used to nail picture frames to the wall. I guess he really wanted things to not fall down. Also the obvious omission was a tree. Thus the stapled to the wall gifts, including that sexy Spirograph you see. Maybe the tree was too goyish. Probably. As I looked at this picture, my sister reminded me how very happy I was. I must admit, I do look fairly chuffed. She then told me she unwrapped the Spirograph and put it on my head.  Also what's with the undershirt, pops? Ah, the holidays.

Yesterday I was at my local nail salon, fixing a botched pedicure. My nail ladies are Jews from Uzbekistan. My neighborhood is traditionally Italian American and requires more than a bit of Christmas cheer, so the woman who runs the place had her husband, who sports a huge star of David around his neck, putting up Christmas decor.   I watched as his befuddlement turned to frustration. How was he supposed to know what to do with all this tinsel, lights, and green and red objets? He gave up on the decor, after some cursing in Russian and sweating, and just sort of spread the accessories through the salon, in sort of weird bas reliefs vs. hanging them properly. It was sad to say the very least. As sad as my botched pedicure.

Now of course there are BIG exceptions to my thesis. I have a friend who lives in a super posh part of Boston, in a beautiful storybook home. Her Christmas tree appears to come out of a Currier and Ives painting. I think this is because she's surrounded by old monied Wasps. Perhaps they showed her how. Or she hired someone to decorate it, though not likely. PS her last name is Cohen. I'm not entirely sure how she pulled it off but yamulkes off to her.

Also my aunt does a gorgeous tree, though her husband, who converted to Judaism, grew up with Christmas so they have a more than slight aptitude and advantage to us 100% Ashkenazi types. This was one of her trees a few years back, with my sister's very non Jewish dog, Rosie sitting by it. Nice, right?

And though we pretend to love that crappy Adam Sandler Hannukah song and enjoy our stinky, fried latkes, no dreidl could substitute for a proper tree. A spinning top vs. a Douglas fir? Nope. Not even close. And with Christmas becoming more and more of a secular holiday, maybe we can all become experts on decor. Is there a master class I can take? I prefer to be better prepared next year. After all you can take a horse to water, but can you teach a Jew Christmas? The jury is still out. Oh and for those keeping score- guess where I'll be Christmas Day? On a plane to Israel. Oh, the irony. 

Cause that's what's up this most wonderful time of the year kind of Friday in Brooklyn. Yours, in yuletide carols and silent nights.  Oh, and Happy Hannukah. XO

Gift guide: Free People's got something for all your lady pals

Good morning, pals. It feels so good to be sharing on the blog again. I love discovering new things and showing you all of them. And today is no exception. Because the stress of holiday shopping is real. And because Free People has so many amazing options on ONE SITE- you could literally buy something for every female (and pet) on your list and have fun doing it. I love love love what they're doing online- super smart mix of high, low, and everything in between - well curated between beauty, fashion, and home. Such good things. Here's a few of my favorite gift ideas for all the archetypes in your life. 

For the hippie chick: This piece is called the Rising Sun kimono and it's RAD. We all know a girl with long layers and a sunshine vibe that needs this. So cool for lounging, brunching, anything really. Probably best for gals in LA but that's just my two cents. SO GOOD.

For the weather obsessed cool chick: Inuikii classic weather boot- OK- caveating the crap out of this one- these are EXPENSIVE. But how cool is a red boot like this to give a lil color pop when it's so grey outside? Just love these so much. Want them for myself. I am weather obsessed after all. Dark Sky much? 

For ankle poppers:The cutest socks- Love all of these as I'm having a bit of a sock renaissance in my life (I usually hate wearing socks but lately loving them with a low top van and some ankle showing). So many cute options- and five for $30 makes for a stylish and useful gift.

For the astrologically inclined: How CUTE is this idea? Love a beauty set that focuses on the zodiac signs- there are four varieties for water, earth, air, and fire from Pai Skincare, a great clean beauty brand.  So awesome and such a thoughtful gift.

For the dog lover: I mean- this is so good. How can you not love a collar like this? Her pooch will be the toast of the town. Kimono lady would probably like this too, ps.

For the sorceress: Yes, we all know one. And it seems that witchy poo things are in right now amidst so much chaos. This book should hit the spot. Put a spell on her with this gift.

For the warm and fuzzy type: Know someone who loves to cuddle and get cozy? This beanie is so cute. It's the accessory equivalent of comfort food. Such a pretty and warm statement.

For the design inclined coffee lover: Owning a french press is a bit of a hipster right of passage. This one is chic. I love the burnt orange one and any of your say -architect/graphic design types would dig this, I'm sure of it. Perfect for any Brooklyn brownstone or beyond.

For the fashionista party girl: To know one is to love one. And chances are she's always looking for something new to wear. This sparkly dress should make any disco queen happy.  Who doesn't love a new dress? Party girl suitors reading this- buy the dress, and then take her to a fabulous date so she can wear it. You're welcome.

For the freelance work from home/couch potato lady: If you know someone who watches CNN all day while working on her laptop (yours truly basically), a jumpsuit is a great way to be dressed but undressed. You could easily throw on a cardi over this number and make a Starbucks run, or you could simply chill inside, basking in the glory of your so called freelance life. Just a thought.

So there you have it- all the things. And many more to be discovered for all your favorite chickadees. Get on it, and have at it. Cause that's what's up this free to be kind of Wednesday in the Jerz.  Yours, in great gifts. XO